Our original mind

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Mind has no colour; it is not long or short;

it does not vanish or appear; it is free from purity and impurity alike; and its duration is eternal.

It is utter stillness.

Such, then, is the form and shape of our original mind,

which is also our original body.

Hui Hai 720 – 814

photo alvesgaspar

The light is always there

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A beautiful idea, similar to the Eastern understanding of natural goodness, or original mind:

Our hands full or not:
The same abundance.
Our eyes open or shut:
The same light.

Yves Jean Bonnefoy, French poet and art historian, 1923 – 2016

with, as before, thanks to david kanigan, Live and Learn blog

photo carrotmadman6

Let them pass through


Spaciousness does not come by arriving at a state of mind where thoughts and emotions simply do not arise and disturb us. On the contrary, difficulties are part of life, and emotions connected to them will always arise. Rather it comes when we can hold such mental events in awareness in such a way that we do not give them, or the stories and dramas that make up our personality, the importance that they clamour for:

Yes, there is the purity of these autumn waters extending out to the horizon

But how does that compare with the haziness of the moon on a Spring night?

Most people want to have pure clarity

But sweep as you will, you cannot empty the mind

Keizan Jokin, the “Great Patriarch” 1268 – 1325, second founder of the Soto Zen School

In here

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A lot of what we consider to be an objective contact with reality is actually “interpretation contact”, filtered through stories we tell ourselves about our lives and other people. Our practice in staying in the present – or with simple felt contact –  is to help us detach a little from our perceptions of the future and the past and question their reliability as pointers to what is actually happening.

Much of what you see “out there” is actually manufactured “in here” by your brain …

Only a small fraction of the input to your occipital lobes comes from the external world;

the rest comes from internal memory stores and perceptual-processing modules.

Rich Hanson, Buddha’s Brain

photo elvert barnes